Risk Management

What Is Code Encryption?

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Developers and organizations are today faced with the constant threat of malicious actors stealing their software programs. And that’s not just it; threat actors can today use an application’s source code to either make it unavailable, steal sensitive data, or use it for ransom. That’s why organizations must secure sensitive software components and algorithms. One technique they can use is code encryption. Code encryption refers to transforming an application’s source code into an unreadable format (ciphertext) in a process known as cryptography.

⚖️ Code Encryption Versus Data Encryption 

Because data encryption is one of the most recognized types of encryption, many people often confuse code encryption with it. However, the two refer to different things, even though, in essence, they use the same technique (cryptography) for protecting applications. 

As the name implies, data encryption involves protecting or securing data from attackers. It is the process of changing sensitive data from a format that can be read and understood by humans into one that needs deciphering. 

✅ Code Encryption Benefits

Code encryption prevents malicious actors from stealing software’s intellectual property and using reverse engineering. It’s also important for enhancing data security. 

Software Intellectual Property Protection

In a highly competitive software market, competitors will do anything to get ahead of everyone else. It shouldn’t, therefore, be surprising that these individuals would go as far as stealing an application’s intellectual property, which includes its unique algorithms, innovative ideas, and proprietary features.

With code encryption, developers and organizations can prevent intellectual property theft by scrambling the source code into an unreadable format, thereby safeguarding their competitive edge.

Reverse Engineering Prevention

Reverse engineering involves deciphering how an application works by analyzing its source code. While reverse engineering is considered legal if done with the right intention, it can sometimes be used by malicious actors for the wrong reasons, such as creating duplicates for commercial advantage and finding vulnerabilities to exploit.  

Enhancing Data Security

Even though organizations can enhance data security with data encryption, code encryption can also help, especially if the application they are using contains or handles sensitive data. By encrypting the source code, developers ensure that malicious actors can’t access or tamper with the data these applications process. 

⚙️ Code Encryption Techniques and Methods

There are several techniques developers can use to encrypt source code, such as:

Code Obfuscation

Obfuscation refers to making code hard to understand by changing its executables while maintaining its functionality. This process is especially useful for protecting applications from revere engineering by changing the code’s logic. Developers can use either partial or complete obfuscation to protect applications through several methods:

  • Rename Obfuscation — This technique involves renaming variables, functions, and classes in the code to hide their original purpose.
  • String Encryption — It involves encrypting strings within the code, making it challenging for attackers to identify sensitive information.
  • Control Flow Obfuscation — Developers change how an application executes instructions (control flow) to make it less predictable for hackers trying to reverse engineer.
  • Transforming the Instruction Pattern — This involves changing the arrangement of machine instructions, which makes it difficult to understand how the code operates.
  • Inserting Dummy Code — Without affecting an application’s functionality, developers can add extra snippets of useless code to confuse anyone trying to understand it.
  • Removing Unused Metadata — Since metadata can give clues about the origin of the source code, developers can remove it to make it harder for hackers.
  • Binary Linking/Merging — This technique involves combining binary files or libraries to create a single executable.

Code Tokenization

Instead of leaving source code as is, developers can break it up into smaller units, symbols, or tokens. After tokenization, these tokens are then encrypted individually to ensure hackers don’t decipher them. 

Cryptographic Algorithms

Using cryptographic algorithms for code encryption involves using well-established mathematical procedures and techniques to scramble source code into an unreadable format for both humans and machines. There are several cryptographic algorithms developers can leverage:

  • Symmetric Key Algorithms
  • Asymmetric Key Algorithms
  • Digital Signature Algorithms
  • Hash Functions
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
  • Key Exchange Algorithms

Examples of What Happens Without Code Encryption

For developers and organizations that are still skeptical about code encryption and its importance, here are some real-life attacks that could have been prevented with source code encryption:

Electronic Arts (EA) Source Code Breach

In 2021, Electronic Arts (EA) fell victim to hackers who stole one of its most popular source codes, Frostbite, that powers games such as FIFA. According to reports, the source code wasn’t the only thing the hackers accessed — they also obtained 780 GB of data. Confirming the reports, an EA spokesman said that while this was true, the hackers did not access player information, which could have resulted in exposing sensitive data for millions of accounts. 

Nvidia Source Code Theft

In February 2022, hackers were able to breach Nvidia, a chip-making company in the U.S., causing several problems. For one, the hackers accessed source code for the company’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology used in improving the resolution of low-quality images. The hackers went further and leaked the source code online. They also obtained access to Nvidia’s proprietary hash rate limiter for cryptocurrency mining as well as data belonging to company employees. 

📑 Code Encryption Best Practices and Strategies

While code encryption is essential for software security, organizations must approach it in a way that ensures it is foolproof. 

One way to ensure that code encryption is effective is choosing the right code encryption tools. Developers must understand that while one tool might work for a similar application, they should consider their application’s unique requirements by evaluating factors such as the level of security required, performance, compatibility, etc.

It’s also important to understand that code encryption isn’t just a one-time thing. Organizations must keep checking for new vulnerabilities in their source code that hackers can exploit and, therefore, improve their code encryption methods.  

Lastly, code encryption is just one small piece of the bigger software security. To ensure applications are secure, developers must combine code encryption with other forms of security, such as authentication and access controls.   

🔐 How PreEmptive Can Help

Code encryption isn’t a nice-to-have thing for developers and organizations that want to protect their software applications; it’s a must-have. With Dotfuscator, developers can ensure that source code is secure, not just during development but even after launching the application. Dotfuscator utilizes string encryption an effective and reliable method of code encryption — to effectively scramble an application’s source code.

Start your free trial with PreEmptive today and protect your apps against reverse engineering and the data breaches it brings.




DashO Change Log

DashO Java Obfuscator Change Log V 12.3 Build 0 – Release Date November 29, 2023

Reading Time: < 1 minute


  • Support for compiled bytecode of Java versions up to 20
  • Upgraded DashO Plugin for Gradle and DashO Plugin for Android to support Gradle version 8 and configuration cache
  • DashO Plugin for Android supports flag ‘protectProjectFilesOnly’ to allow obfuscation of jar/classes in project directory only


  • Fixed issue when case-insensitive operating systems treated class files with the same names but different letter cases as the same classes

Version compatibility matrix

This release may contain protection enhancements not described here.

Risk Management

What Are the iOS Security Vulnerabilities?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

iOS is well-known for its robust security framework, but vulnerabilities in the operating system still exist. These are flaws or weaknesses in the iOS operating system that attackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access, leak sensitive data, or compromise device security.

iOS security vulnerabilities can lead to unauthorized access to personal information, financial data, and sensitive communications, compromising user privacy and data integrity. On the device security front, such vulnerabilities may allow attackers to take over devices, install malware, or render systems inoperable.

For example, hackers could post users’ photos online or disclose confidential client information or company financials. In a corporate environment, hackers could use a compromised iOS device as an entry point to the wider network, resulting in operational disruptions, data loss, and costly downtime.

In this article, you’ll discover five common iOS vulnerabilities, how users can protect themselves, and how developers can enhance iOS security.

Five Common iOS Vulnerabilities

Common iOS vulnerabilities span a range of issues. Some more common ones that have been relevant recently include remote code execution, privilege escalation, data breaches, application-specific weaknesses, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Let’s look at these one by one.

1. Remote Code Execution   

Remote code execution in iOS allows attackers to execute malicious code and seize control of devices remotely. An attacker can perform this type of attack without any interaction from the victim, potentially gaining unauthorized access to the system, stealing data, or exploiting the device’s resources for malicious activities.

Hackers perform remote code execution attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in software or systems, such as unpatched security flaws, to run malicious code. Users can protect themselves by:

  • Updating: Updating software regularly to patch known vulnerabilities closes security gaps and prevents attackers from exploiting outdated systems.
  • Monitoring: Using robust security solutions that include real-time monitoring helps detect and promptly address unusual activity.
  • Browsing: Practicing safe browsing habits helps avoid downloading or clicking on suspicious links that could execute such code. It reduces the risk of inadvertently allowing malicious software onto devices.

2. Privilege Escalation

Privilege escalation vulnerabilities are security weaknesses that allow an attacker to gain elevated access to resources that a lower-level application or user shouldn’t be able to access. It lets the attacker perform unauthorized actions, such as accessing confidential data, changing configuration settings, or taking control of the operating system. The hacker wouldn’t be able to do this with lower-level permissions.

Users can protect themselves by actively updating their systems with the latest security patches and employing security tools that monitor for unauthorized attempts. Additionally, they can give each person or program the fewest permissions they need to get their work done.

3. Data Leakage

Data leakage occurs when sensitive information is accidentally exposed or intentionally stolen from a system, potentially leading to unauthorized access and misuse of personal, financial, or business information. It can happen through various means, such as security breaches, software vulnerabilities, or during data transfer between different systems.

Hackers perform data leakage attacks by exploiting weak security systems, phishing, or installing spyware to siphon off sensitive information. Users can protect themselves by: 

  • Using strong, unique passwords for different accounts
  • Enabling two-factor authentication
  • Being cautious about sharing personal information, especially on public or unsecured networks

4. App Vulnerabilities

App vulnerabilities refer to weaknesses or flaws in a mobile application that cybercriminals can exploit to carry out malicious activities, such as stealing data, injecting malware, or disrupting app functionality. These vulnerabilities can stem from inadequate coding practices, failure to update software, or not properly securing data within the app.

Users can protect themselves from app vulnerabilities by: 

  • Downloading apps only from trusted sources like the official App Store
  • Updating apps to the latest versions regularly
  • Reviewing app permissions to ensure they only have access to necessary information

5. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Another common iOS security vulnerability is “man-in-the-middle” attacks. These occur when an attacker intercepts communication between two parties, typically over an unsecured Wi-Fi network, to eavesdrop or alter the transmitted data. They could lead to the interception of sensitive data like login credentials, credit card numbers, and personal information.

To protect against this type of attack, users should use secure and encrypted connections and virtual private networks.

Blastpass: A Real-World Example of iOS Vulnerabilities

The so-called Blastpass vulnerability Apple disclosed in September 2023 underscores the ongoing battle against iOS device security threats. It allowed attackers to exploit devices without user interaction, an alarming prospect for any iOS user.

Blastpass leveraged a zero-click exploit, meaning hackers could trigger it without user engagement, a method that is increasingly common among sophisticated cyber threats. Apple has responded with a security patch to mitigate this vulnerability, as detailed in their updates. 

Statistics on zero-click exploits illustrate their rise — the first nine months of 2022 saw nine zero-click attacks, while the same period in 2023 saw 13. For users, the best defense against such exploits is to install Apple’s latest updates promptly.

Mitigating iOS Security Risks for In-house Developers

In-house corporate developers face many challenges in ensuring the security of their organization’s iOS applications. The following best practices provide a brief roadmap for in-house developers aiming to fortify their organizations against potential iOS security vulnerabilities:

  • Enforce Mobile App Security Protocols: Implement strict mobile app security protocols, including end-to-end encryption and secure authentication methods. These measures help protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access to corporate mobile applications.
  • Prevent Data Breaches on iOS: Use data leakage prevention tools that monitor and block the transmission of sensitive information outside the corporate network. Regular security audits and employee training on data handling are also crucial in minimizing risks of data exposure.
  • Regularly Address iOS App Vulnerabilities: Use automated tools to scan for vulnerabilities within apps and apply fixes before attackers can exploit them. 
  • Stay Updated With iOS Security Updates: Prioritize the integration of the latest iOS security updates into the development cycle. This includes testing for compatibility and functionality to ensure that security enhancements are active and do not disrupt business operations.
  • Adhere to iOS Security Best Practices: Use secure coding techniques, regularly review code for potential security issues, and ensure all third-party libraries and software development kits (SDKs) used in the app development are up to date and from reputable sources.

Wrapping Up: Vigilance and Protection in iOS Security

While iOS is known for its security, vulnerabilities persist, posing risks to data and device integrity. To combat these threats, users and developers must be vigilant, adopting best practices and investing in DevSecOps

PreEmptive’s suite of products, including Dotfuscator, DashO, JSDefender — and now Defender for iOS — plays a crucial role in this defense strategy. By providing multiple layers of protection through obfuscation and active runtime checks, PreEmptive helps developers safeguard applications against hacking and tampering, ensuring the security of intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue.




Dotfuscator Pro Change Log

Dotfuscator Professional Edition, Version 7.1.0 – Release Date November 13, 2023

Reading Time: < 1 minute


  • Added support for parallel configuration file access
  • Added support for target platform specific configuration file for MAUI
  • Added support for linking .NET Core assemblies
  • Improved performance of Debug Check


  • Strong name signature of resigned assemblies can now be verified using common tools (such as dumpbin.exe)
  • Improved root check
  • Improved XAML processing

PreEmptive Dotfuscator Ranks High in G2 Fall 2023 Grid Report

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s that time of the year again! G2 recently rolled out their much-anticipated Fall 2023 reports. These quarterly reports examined 16,000+ products across 1,000+ categories to identify the trendsetters, the top performers, the rising stars, and the game-changing shifts in the software arena. We’re excited to say that Dotfuscator App Protection for .NET & Xamarin (and now MAUI) fared extremely well, with 100% of users giving it 4 or 5 stars and most saying they would recommend it.


A Closer Look at the G2 Fall 2023 Report

G2 is the premier business software review platform. They rigorously assess and rank software products based on genuine user feedback and evaluations. The reports look at marketplace data to determine the software tools that are making the biggest splash in the market, which are most useful, which ones are people actually using.

In other words, it’s not which company bought a sponsorship and gets to have their software placed at the top of the list alongside the same boring, sanitized marketing copy we’ve all seen a thousand times. It’s about which software the developers in the trenches rely on. Straight forward feedback, no fluff.


How Dotfuscator Performed

We like to say that when it comes to the ease of doing business and quality of support, nobody is better than PreEmptive. In fact, in the Relationship Index for Mobile Data Security report, Dotfuscator ranked first ahead of Check Point Mobile Access, Prey, LIAPP, Salesforce Security and Privacy, MVISION Mobile and others.

Dotfuscator also made the upper ranks of the Relationship Index for Data Security report, and it was named as a high-performing product with remarkable customer success in the Report for Data Security


Your Security Is Our Success

When you consider that the Grid reports is the voice of real users and not one lone analyst, we’re proud and thankful to our Dotfuscator users who shared their positive experiences reflected in the G2 Fall 2023 Grid Reports.

At PreEmptive, we’re not just committed to upholding the gold standard; we’re driven to raise the bar even higher. If you’re a .NET programmer in need of the best source code security, let us show you what that’s all about. We invite you to witness Dotfuscator for yourself with a free trial.



Risk Management Support Corner

.NET MAUI — What It Is and Why It Matters

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Built by Microsoft, .NET MAUI (Multi-platform App UI) is a unified framework for building cross-platform applications for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Developers use it to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, eliminating the need to duplicate their work in separate native development. .NET MAUI serves as the Xamarin.Forms evolution, inheriting its fundamental capabilities while introducing new features and optimizations. This guide will provide a .NET MAUI overview, including its features, benefits, and use cases. 

Key Features of .NET MAUI

.NET MAUI offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to simplify cross-platform development, enhance performance, and provide flexibility. 

✅ Single Project Structure for Multiple Platforms

One of the most significant changes .NET MAUI brings is a single project structure to target multiple platforms. Unlike Xamarin.Forms, where you had to maintain separate projects for Android, iOS, and other platforms, .NET MAUI condenses this into a single project, simplifying project management and reducing the complexity associated with syncing changes across different projects. 

✅  Enhanced Development Flexibility and New Controls

.NET MAUI provides enhanced development flexibility through its wide array of controls and layouts. It includes all the essential controls from Xamarin.Forms while introducing new ones that were previously unavailable or required third-party libraries. .NET MAUI controls like GraphicsView and Shapes allow for advanced graphics rendering, expanding the scope of what developers can achieve. Additionally, .NET MAUI comes with improved customization options, enabling you to create tailored user interfaces with ease.

Native Performance and Support for Platform-Specific APIs

With near-native performance achieved by optimizing the underlying architecture and rendering engine, .NET MAUI delivers faster start-up times, smoother animations, and a more responsive application UI design. It also provides greater access to native APIs, which means you can more easily integrate platform-specific functionality without resorting to cumbersome workarounds. You can now directly tap into native features, such as Bluetooth, camera, or GPS, right from your .NET MAUI code.

Integration of Blazor and Its Benefits

Previously, Blazor was primarily used for building web applications using WebAssembly. Its integration with .NET MAUI allows developers to build hybrid applications that share code and libraries between web and native mobile applications. Blazor integration reduces development time and ensures consistency in behavior and appearance across different platforms. With Blazor, you can write your application logic in C#, eliminating the need to use JavaScript for client-side logic in web portions of your app. 

Why .NET MAUI Matters    

Cross-platform development has gained traction in the software industry due to the proliferation of devices and operating systems. Businesses need to reach users where they are, often spanning multiple platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and the web. Developing separate applications for each platform requires considerable time, resources, and specialized skills. .NET MAUI’s emphasis on cross-platform development allows developers to write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms, accelerating time-to-market and reducing development costs. 

.NET MAUI comes with a rich set of controls and layouts out-of-the-box, which saves developers from relying on third-party libraries or writing custom controls for basic functionalities. This reduced complexity and overhead allows developers to focus on building features and improving user experience rather than wrestling with project configurations and platform-specific limitations.

Its integration with .NET puts advanced language features and a comprehensive standard library at the tip of your fingers so you can build more performant and scalable applications. Being part of a unified ecosystem means that .NET MAUI can easily integrate with other .NET libraries and services, like ASP.NET for web services or Entity Framework for database operations.

How .NET MAUI Compares

As an evolution of Xamarin.Forms, .NET MAUI offers significant improvements and additional features. Instead of requiring multiple projects for different platforms, making management complex., .NET MAUI has a single project structure to target all platforms.

Xamarin.Forms had some performance limitations, particularly in rendering complex UI elements. .NET MAUI focuses on native-level performance, improving both rendering speed and application responsiveness.

.NET MAUI also adds new controls and increases customization options for existing ones while streamlining access to native functionalities. 

The biggest improvement may be native support for Blazor. Xamarin.Forms lacked native integration, which limited its utility for web-based applications. With Blazor, .NET MAUI enables code sharing between web and mobile platforms.

.NET MAUI also stacks up favorably in comparison to other cross-platform tools, including: 

  • React Native — Unlike React Native, which uses JavaScript and a virtual DOM to facilitate cross-platform development, .NET MAUI relies on C# and XAML for a more native-like experience. MAUI offers better integration with the .NET ecosystem, while React Native has a large community of third-party libraries.
  • Flutter — Flutter uses Dart and provides high performance but requires learning a less commonly used language (Dart). .NET MAUI lets developers stick with C#, which is widely used, and integrates better with existing .NET services.
  • Ionic — Ionic uses web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create mobile apps. While it’s easier for web developers to transition, it lacks the native performance .NET MAUI provides.

Real-World Use Cases

Due to its versatility, .NET MAUI is an ideal choice for a wide range of use cases across industries.  

→ Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Enterprises often require mobile applications that are consistent across multiple platforms for better manageability and user experience. .NET MAUI shines in this scenario by enabling the development of cross-platform apps with a single codebase.

E-Commerce Platforms

E-commerce businesses want to provide a seamless shopping experience across web and mobile platforms. .NET MAUI, with its native-like performance and rich UI controls, can be used to develop sophisticated and user-friendly e-commerce applications. The integration of Blazor enables code and feature sharing between web and mobile platforms, giving users a consistent experience.

IoT Applications

.NET MAUI offers strong native API support, allowing developers to easily integrate with device capabilities like Bluetooth, sensors, and cameras. This makes it a strong candidate for building Internet of Things (IoT) applications where cross-platform consistency and native device features are crucial.

.NET MAUI Application Security With PreEmptive

While .NET MAUI offers developers more versatility and control, application security is still a primary concern. PreEmptive Dotfuscator is the developer’s choice for advanced obfuscation to protect .NET applications, including those built with .NET MAUI, from reverse engineering and the data breaches it leads to.

When developers use .NET MAUI to build their applications, they can integrate PreEmptive’s obfuscation to ensure that source code is hardened against hackers’ attempts to gain unauthorized access. Curious to learn more? Request a free trial and see it in action for yourself.



Risk Management

Stopping Phishing for Developers: Techniques and Defenses

Reading Time: 5 minutes


As Cybersecurity Month 2023 approaches this October, the spotlight is on recognizing and reporting phishing, one of the pivotal themes for this year. With the ever-evolving landscape of phishing attacks, developers find themselves at the forefront of this battle. Gone are the days when a poorly written email with misspellings signaled a phishing attempt. Today’s phishing schemes employ advanced technologies and an in-depth psychological understanding, challenging even the most astute users. In this complex digital era, developers have a unique role to play, wielding their expertise not just in building systems, but also in safeguarding them from these intricate threats.

Phishing Techniques: A Look Into the Tactics Targeting Developers and Their Code

While the standard advice to avoid opening attachments from unknown sources still holds true, hackers can now generate targeted attacks to get around standard security measures. 

→ Machine Learning in Phishing Attacks

Malicious actors have fully embraced the possibilities of AI. Machine learning now drives many phishing attacks. Cybercriminals use algorithms to optimize their attack strategies, from identifying the most vulnerable targets in an organization to tailoring phishing content based on user behavior and preferences. These algorithms can analyze massive datasets of user information, enabling attackers to make highly personalized and convincing attempts.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing, a targeted form of phishing, now often incorporates data culled from social engineering. Cybercriminals scan social media platforms or corporate websites to gather detailed information about their target, such as job titles, work relationships, and even personal hobbies. Armed with this data, they craft incredibly relevant and trustworthy emails or messages. 

Real-Time Phishing

In real-time phishing, cybercriminals create a fake website that mimics the genuine website almost perfectly. During a parallel session, the user inputs login details into the fake website, and the hacker immediately uses those details to log into the actual website.

The process often happens so swiftly that the user doesn’t even realize they’ve been phished. This method dramatically increases the attack’s effectiveness by bypassing two-factor authentication and other security measures. 

SMS Phishing

The increasing use of mobile devices for work also opens new vectors for phishing attacks. SMS phishing — also called smishing — has seen a surge. Here, attackers sending text messages that direct users to malicious websites or prompt them to disclose sensitive information. 

Deepfake Phishing

Deepfake technology is still evolving, but that hasn’t stopped malicious actors from using it.  Hackers can create highly convincing fake videos or audio messages that appear to come from trusted figures within an organization. These deepfakes can trick employees into transferring funds or revealing confidential information. 

Defensive Coding: Techniques to Make Applications Resistant to Phishing

Although many phishing attacks rely on human error to bypass otherwise effective security measures, there are tactics developers can use to harden applications against attacks. Some code-based phishing defenses for developers include the following: 

  • Validating user input: Always use input validation techniques on both client and server sides. Double-check that all form submissions and URL parameters conform to expected formats. Input validation can filter out malicious code that attackers often use for phishing.
  • Employing content security policies: Implement content security policies to restrict the sources of content that an application can execute. By whitelisting trusted domains and blocking inline scripts, developers can prevent attackers from injecting malicious content into web pages.
  • Using multi-factor authentication: Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security. MFA makes it harder for phishers — although not impossible —  to gain unauthorized access even if they steal login credentials.
  • Applying role-based access control (RBAC): Assign permissions based on roles within the application. Limit the amount of privileged information each role can access. Doing so minimizes the damage that can occur, even if a phishing attack compromises a user account.
  • Implementing rate limiting: Cap the number of login attempts and password resets from a single IP address within a specific time frame. Rate limiting can thwart brute-force attacks often associated with phishing campaigns.
  • Using time-based restrictions: Add time-based restrictions for high-risk actions like fund transfers or changes to account settings. Require a waiting period or a secondary confirmation, which can deter real-time phishing attempts.
  • Leveraging machine learning: Integrate machine learning algorithms that analyze user behavior and traffic patterns. These algorithms can flag suspicious activity to proactively prevent phishing attacks.
  • Regularly updating and patching software: Keep all libraries, frameworks, and other software current. Security patches often fix vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit for phishing.

Secure Communication: Ensuring Secure and Authenticated Correspondence in Applications

You should also protect data communication to make it more difficult for hackers to steal and manipulate data for phishing attacks.  The following techniques can help developers safeguard user data and app integrity:  

  • Using HTTPS for all transactions: Secure URL practices encrypt all data in transit using HTTPS rather than HTTP. SSL/TLS certificates provide robust encryption and serve as the first defense against man-in-the-middle attacks, which can intercept and manipulate data.
  • Implementing end-to-end encryption: Only the communicating users can read the messages with end-to-end encryption. Even if an attacker intercepts the data packets, they cannot decrypt the information. This is particularly important for messaging apps and in email security protocols.
  • Digitally signing messages: Use digital signatures to verify the integrity of the messages. When a message is digitally signed, any alteration or tampering becomes evident, allowing users to disregard compromised messages.
  • Tokenizing sensitive information: Replace sensitive information with a non-sensitive equivalent, known as a token. Tokenization protects the data as it travels through various networks, reducing the risk associated with data exposure.
  • Securing API communication: For applications relying on APIs for internal or external communications, secure them with strong authentication and rate limiting. Make sure the API calls are also transmitted over HTTPS.
  • Implementing data loss prevention (DLP) measures: Use DLP tools to monitor and control data transfers. These tools can identify sensitive data and prevent unauthorized sharing, reducing the risk of leaks or exposure.
  • Isolating communication channels: Segment your network and isolate communication channels where sensitive data is transmitted. Use firewalls and other security measures to restrict access to these secure channels.

Case Study: A Successful Phishing Attempt and Its Implications for Developers

Twitter was attacked in one of the most high-profile spear phishing cases recently. In 2020, several Twitter staff members’ credentials were hacked and used to gain access to celebrity Twitter accounts, such as Elon Musk and Barack Obama. The hackers tweeted out pleas for Bitcoin and managed to collect $100,000 before they were locked out of the system. This case highlights the importance of recognizing phishing vulnerabilities within an organization. 

Though embarrassing for Twitter, the financial impact pales compared to some successful phishing attacks. Google and Facebook were fleeced out of $100 million over several years. The scammer repeatedly sent fake invoices from Quanta, a vendor both companies used. Since the bogus invoices seemed to originate from a trusted vendor, they were paid by the tech giants. 

🗝 Key Takeaways

As Cybersecurity Month 2023 emphasizes the crucial role of recognizing and reporting phishing, we developers emerge as unsung heroes, innovating tirelessly behind the scenes. While phishing attacks often target human vulnerabilities, we have the tools and skills to enhance our defenses, making it challenging for malicious actors to obtain data for targeted attacks or to mimic authentic websites. In this age of evolving threats, always remember: we developers are not just creators; we’re the frontline defense against phishing.

Curious about how PreEmptive empowers developers to stay ahead in cybersecurity? Check out our code security solutions.




Dotfuscator Pro Change Log

Dotfuscator Professional Edition, Version 7.0.0 – Release Date October 03, 2023

Reading Time: < 1 minute


Note: Do not forget to update the Dotfuscator version number in the MSBuild Targets path for your existing projects. Read more about upgrading from Dotfuscator 6 to Dotfuscator 7 here


Risk Management

Data Protection in Android Apps: Safeguarding Sensitive Information

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Android is by far the most popular OS on Earth. Android powers over 75% of tablets and smartphones for over 2.5 billion users. But Android’s popularity means users face a greater level of threat. Some 87% of Android devices have serious security vulnerabilities. 

To combat security threats, developers must incorporate ample security into their Android apps. Below, we’ll explain some methods to secure Android-powered apps. But first a pro tip: 

One of the most secure and efficient ways to reduce vulnerabilities is using a smart app protection solution. PreEmptive’s seamless tools harden and shield apps, preventing the likelihood of data breaches and cyber threats. 

Understanding Data Security Risks in Android Apps

Why are cyber criminals drawn to Android applications? Popularity is one reason. The more popular an OS is, the more it’s targeted. Also, specific weaknesses allow hackers and malware to enter Google Play Store apps more easily. So, users who forget to update their OS are more vulnerable to bad actors.

Data Encryption Techniques for Android Apps

Hacking, malware, ransomware, and data breaches are rising, making it a nonnegotiable for developers to implement data encryption and secure coding practices in Android apps. Even basic security measures significantly reduce the likelihood of succumbing to such nefarious behavior as an SQL injection.

Developers must familiarize themselves with obfuscation, encryption, and security techniques, and incorporate them into their Android apps. This way, they can rest easy after releasing their Android apps.

🔐 Secure Data Storage on Android Devices

Safe storage is essential for any Android application. Developers need easy paths with intuitive access controls to navigate private third-party libraries and security tools for storing sensitive files. Additionally, developers must design apps to prevent private information storage on public databases. 

Don’t assume the onus falls on users. Developers must incorporate security methods that prevent other apps or parties from accessing sensitive data. The Android Application Sandbox feature is critical. This feature allows developers to isolate and regulate apps that store sensitive information, limiting file-sharing access and significantly decreasing the likelihood of unauthorized entry into sensitive files. 

🌐 Securing Network Communication

Haphazard network communication is a recipe for disaster, especially for Android apps. The apps must be built with a secure network protocol, like SSL, which reduces the amount of exposed personal data within public networks.

👥 User Authentication and Authorization

Basic steps, like using the Android Keystore system, greatly enhance authorization protection. Once Android securable objects are placed within the Keystore, developers can layer in restrictions. This helps authenticate legitimate users and deny any unauthorized accounts.

Using tools for runtime memory data protection also greatly helps by constantly analyzing code integrity in real time and avoiding instances of tampering and SQL injection.

⚠️ Data Minimization and Privacy Concerns

Reducing the amounts of stored data, or data minimization, helps eliminate user fears of privacy overreaches. It also creates less work for DevOps teams, eliminating the number of redundancies and backups, and allows developers to focus only on real security issues.

🖥 Secure Data Transmission to Backend Servers

Hackers are always looking to exploit data in transit. This is where encryption protocols, like HTTPS or SSH, come to the rescue by creating a protected tunnel as data moves from one device to another. 

☁️ Secure Cloud Data Storage and Backup

Data at rest is just in need of protection as data in transit. To secure data at rest, whether within the cloud or on physical servers, developers must emphasize strict classifications according to the data’s sensitivity. This includes strict encryption and tokenization techniques. 

✅ Compliance With Data Protection Regulations

Another vital element in securing Android apps is ensuring compliance with data storage, privacy, and protection measures, including:

  • Data Privacy Regulations: GDPR, CCPR
  • Data Security: PCI DSS
  • Accessibility: WCAG ADA

The Importance of Continuous Data Protection in Android Apps

Android is a wildly popular OS with unique vulnerabilities that app developers must understand to defend their code and diminish threats. Reliable, quick, and robust app security for your Android or Java applications is crucial — and that’s what DashO is all about. Developers around the world depend on it for advanced obfuscation and active run-time checks that keep hackers out of the source code. Want to secure your vital apps and avoid data breaches? Start a free trial today.




DashO Change Log

DashO Java Obfuscator Change Log V 12.2 Build 0 – Release Date September 14, 2023

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  • Java 9 Modules (JPMS) support with UI appropriate changes to run on/off functionality